INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 11: Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans drives against D.J. Byrd #21 of the Purdue Boilermakers during the quarterfinals of the 2011 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 11, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Back spasms have already hindered Ohio State's talented big man Jared Sullinger on more than one occasion this season. Now, a non-serious bone bruise to his foot is threatening to do the same. Lingering or not, it might not be significant enough to effect the Buckeyes' Big Ten title hopes, but Sully's chronic ailments are doing a masterful job of muddying up the player of the year race.
It's pretty obvious now: The door is wide open. The resident king has officially left the castle, and his coveted throne is sitting there unoccupied. Sullinger clung to the top spot for the seventh consecutive week in our rankings, but his lead is paper thin and won't hold up for much longer without him on the floor.
But because of Tu Holloway's suspension, and the underwhelming play of guys like Harrison Barnes and Jordan Taylor, there wasn't a player in college hoops who actually deserved to take that No. 1 spot away. And that's probably the most puzzling part about where we stand right now. At any point last season we had a handful of viable POY candidates, each with his own set of logical supporters. Now we have dozens of guys that could all garner votes, and the lone player who everyone blindly assumes is the best of the bunch can't seem to stay healthy.
All might take is an inspired performance or two over the holidays to completely alter the top of the standings. But will anyone actually step up? Or will the POY outlook remain cloudy until January?
Week seven after the jump...
||-OSU||It's just odd: He loses weight & gets hurt. Stays chubby & is Iron Man.
||Didn't play last week. Stands best shot to unseat Sullinger in wk 8.
||His stupidity cost Xavier a game to ORU. Still only hitting 40% of his FGs.
||Only gripe: Not getting to the FT line like he should (3.5 att/gm).
||20+ points in only 3 of 11 games. And he's supposed to be a scorer.
|6||+2||Past freshmen he compares to (statistically): Oden, Varnado, Ed.Davis.
||His 4.2% turnover% is No. 1 in nation. Also has third-best ORating.
||Against MSU's four best opponents: 18.25 pts, 8.75 rebs, 2.50 stls
The Lank Factor: 0.898 (106 PTS+RBS+BLK+STL/118 MIN)
||Passing numbers are fine, but shooting the ball terribly (42.9 eFG%).
||Wow: McDermott's line mirrors a certain Derrick Williams from last yr.
||The Lank Factor: 0.987 (315 PTS+RBS+BLK+STL/319 MIN)|
||Making 3.6 3-pointers/game. Has attempted twice as many 3Ps as FTs.
||Annnd here comes the fall. A dislocated finger isn't going to help his case.
-UNC||Assist rate: 45.7% (4th in NCAA) vs. Turnover rate: 28.3%
|16||+1||The Lank Factor: 0.971 (304 PTS+RBS+BLK+STL/313 MIN)|
|17||+1||Assist rate: 44.0% (7th in NCAA) vs. Turnover rate: 21.6%
|18||-2||Shooting accuracy hasn't coincided with increased usage after 11 games.
||A nightly 20-point threat. Should stick around as UT's go-to guy.
|20||--||Suspended for Saturday's game. Will get the start vs. LSU tonight.
Five who just missed: Mike Moser-UNLV, Will Barton-Memphis, Herb Pope-Seton Hall, Damian Lillard-Weber State, John Shurna-Northwestern